Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Shooting Under Par

Rachel Ginsberg

Thirty years ago, Zohar Sharon was a top Mossad operative who lost his sight on a secret mission. Today, he’s the world’s best blind golfer, defending a string of world championships, even though he’d never even been on a golf course before. Yet, his trophy-lined living room is more than just a showcase for the number-one man on the green. It’s become a place for nurturing the growth of Torah in an apathetic, secular community.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The clipped, tense silence on the course is broken by the crack of Zohar Sharon’s five-iron as the golf ball flies into the distance. Sharon can’t see it, but he can tell by the whack and the air current that it was a good shot, just inches away from the 130-meter flag he was targeting on the practice green.

“Totally straight,” he says, flashing the huge smile that rarely leaves his face. “A peles [level].”

Sharon, a former IDF officer and Mossad and Shin Bet operative who lost his sight 30 years ago in a field mission, is the world’s best blind golfer, defending a string of world championships since 2000, when he entered his first professional tournament.

But the story of Zohar Sharon, 57, is more than the sum total of the dozens of trophies that line his living room in Moshav Aviel, near Hadera. It is the story of a military hero’s rise and fall – and rise again, with a spirit revealed through deep faith, hard work, intense concentration and an internal overhaul.

Since 2003, when he won the World Invitational blind golf tournament in Scotland, he’s taken international championships in Australia, the US, Canada, and England. This summer, he returned as a world champ in the British Open’s World Blind Golf Championships at Whittlebury Park. Before that, he made headlines with a statistically improbably hole-in-one on his home turf, the Caeserea Golf Club, where he practices 10 hours a day except Shabbos.

“I thought I’d overshot it. Then, when Shimshon, my caddy, started screaming and jumping up and down, I thought he’d been bitten by a snake.” 



To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you